tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC January 2, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
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welcome to "world news" where tonight 100 million americans face a winter blast. snow and the iciest temperatures in decades. the first snowstorm of the new year. air travel snarled. millions warned tonight stay off the roads . good evening and a good new year to you. tonight this year starts with a massive winter storm blanketing almost half of this country. in some places in the contin continental united states they're colder than the north pole. other parts of the country it's a whiteout, drivers urged off the roads, 100 million americans hunkering down tonight. our extreme weather team is out in force. right there in the snow drift we begin with abc's gio benitez where it is piling up. >> reporter: good evening from a snowy chicagoland. it's getting colder and colder.
12 degrees right now. it feels like two below zero. it isn't just fluffy. it's downright relentless. >> reporter: from blaring sirens in evanston illinois, normally for tornado warnings, this one alerting residents to a snow emergency. to a chicago whiteout, up to 18 inches of fresh snow in places. the midwest is a blowing, snowing, deep freeze. officials too, sounding a warning. >> we ask that residents check on the well-being of residents, friends and neighbors. >> reporter: the city's full fleet of 287 snow plows and salt spreaders dominate the streets. plows in nearby rose mount out in force, too. drivers operating on little sleep, a grueling job as we found out. >> when it gets heavy, you just keep going and going and going. >> that's what we do. if you left it build up, you'll never move it. >> reporter: lyle richmond knows that, clearing the snow from his house, over and over again.
>> four times within the past 24 hours? >> probably a little less than 246hours, yes. >> reporter: the snowy mess causing cancellations across the u.s. as holiday travelers try to get home. plane de-icers working overtime, more than 500 accidents reported in michigan, icy roads from tennessee to the mountains of north carolina. this car flipped on its side on roads that look like glass. in international falls, minnesota, that haunting sign, 40 below zero, an opportunity to show the power of cold temperatures. this egg went from cracked to frozen solid in a cast iron pan in five minutes. in wichita, kansas, america's most loyal customer. you know that chemical salt used
to melt snow and ice. if the temperature is below 20 degrees it's useless. one guy who may need it at any time is abc's ron claibornclaib. he's live in boston tonight. ron, good evening to you. >> reporter: i'm in massachusetts. as bad as it was where you are in the midwest, it could get even worse here as that storm system that you experienced joined with systems coming up from the south to form a potent nor'easter here in the northeast. it started with a light powder and coating from the northeast and then it came roaring in. the powerful nor'easter that pounded the northeast, all the way up to maine and far inland. in the boston area traffic ground almost to a halt on many major highways and everywhere roads were littered with accidents and spinouts. a pick-up truck flipped onto its side in maine.
a semi beached on a highway median and a massachusetts state police car a victim of a fender bender. in boston, schools closed, street parking banned, government workers sent home early. in new york city the heavy snow wasn't due to strike until much later. >> don't panic. everything will be fine. you'll make it. >> reporter: the storm was a kind of tale of two cities and two mayors. boston's tom menino, four days from leaving office. >> i guess mother nature wanted to give me one more gift. >> reporter: bill de blasio in office for one day. >> it would have been nice to have a calm first day but we have snow on our mind and we are focused like a laser. >> reporter: we saw motorists stranded on highways.
new york's governor declaring a state wide emergency and banning all traffic on three major interstates in new york city effective at midnight. at the epicenter of this near t nor'easter, this area supposed to get 15 inches of snow. that's just the first of their one-two punch. that second punch is going to be temperatures plunging into the single minus digits. >> thank you so much, ron claiborne and thank you, gio benitez as well. we want to show you more about the snow, exactly where it is and what's coming behind it. abc's meteorologist ginger zee is tracking it for us. >> reporter: diane, so many folks waiting for it, maybe starting to see the first flakes. it is about to get rocking. i want to take you through the time line of how this storm affects most of the east coast. of course you're seeing the
radar full in parts of pennsylvania, ohio. look where the storm animation takes us here. time wise tonight, 8:00 p.m. until about 4:00 a.m. that the bulk of this snow will fall. by tomorrow afternoon it is gone. behind it it's very cold air. how much snow are we talking? remember this is not just snow but in some places intense wind. that's why we have blizzard warnings in parts of long island, the cape, coastal maine, parts of new hampshire. you'll be in the six to ten inch range in the pink. some places will be a foot and a half locally. then the cold, i mentioned it once but you've got to see it again. we're talking about the coldest air we have seen since the mid '90s in some places. look at those high temperatures. that's right. i said high temperatures as minneapolis is at 9 below on saturday, 15 below on monday. it's not just the northern
plains and great lakes. it's nashville, only a 14 for a high on monday. that cold air sticking around. cold air, what florida is asking. early this morning they had lows in the 70s while way north in parts of minnesota having a record low of 47 below. that's 124 degree difference across this nation. diane? >> let's go back to that bitter cold for a minute. i know you want to warn everybody how quickly you can get in trouble outside? >> reporter: especially because when you have temperatures in some of those northern plains areas 45 below zero. you will you have to put on is a 15 mile per hour wind you can get frostbite in ten minutes. take extra care and cover up if you are going to be exposed at all. next we move on to take you inside a drama in another frozen part of the globe, the rescue of
52 passengers on a ship trapped for ten days in the ocean of ice in the antarctic. they're a group of scientists and tourist. alex marquardt shows us how they got stuck and how they finally escaped. >> reporter: as the helicopter landed, the 10 day ordeal came to an end. relieved and weary passengers trudged across the ice and were hoisted up onto the aurora australis icebreaker to take them home. when the chinese helicopter first appeared this morning over their stranded ship, it was a sight for sore eyes. >> what a handsome craft that is. >> reporter: the scientists and tourists got on the chopper in groups of 12 for the 14 nautical mile trip across the ice. >> the first of the helicopters to take us home! thanks everyone! >> reporter: here's how it all happened -- the ship set sail on december 8th, its goal -- to re-trace a 100 year old expedition and record the changes of the past century.
but as christmas day dawned, they got stuck. winds howled across the deck, so strong the passengers couldn't stand up. the snow, blinding. at first, only two nautical miles of ice separated them and open water, which soon grew to 13. three icebreakers tried to get through, but failed. in the end, the passengers had to stomp the snow to make a landing pad for the helicopter rescue. it will now take around two weeks to sail back to australia, but tonight the passengers are relieved to finally be on their way. alex marquardt, abc news, london. and next here tonight on "world news," we are in the beginning of a new era in health care in america, obamacare now in effect. as of tonight, more than 2 million americans have signed up. their stories are beginning to be told. abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl reports in. >> reporter: for maggie fernandez of miami, this is a big day.
>> i'm looking at 2014 to be the year of my health. >> reporter: the dawn of obamacare means better health coverage, money saved, and a chance to make her first doctor's appointment in nearly a year. because she suffers from hypertension, fernandez couldn't get affordable health coverage last year. as of january 1st, insurance companies can no longer charge more for pre- existing conditions and she was able to find a plan she could afford, slashing her prescription drug bill. >> while i was uninsured, i was paying $200 a month, but now with obamacare i will be paying $20 a month. >> reporter: it's not all smooth sailing. while 2.1 million americans have signed up so far, it's too soon to tell if obamacare is working. total sign ups are more than a million short of the target for january 1st. officials also can't say how many who have picked up the plan have actually paid for it and truly enrolled. there are early signs not enough healthy and young people are signing up in order to keep costs low. and many who are signing up may find their current doctors are
no longer covered under the new plans. and the administration is still battling legal challenges to the law, so while the white house is celebrating the formal start of obamacare and some people are starting to benefit, it is clear that the law still has a long list of obstacles, diane, to overcome. >> i'm trying to control my enjoy, jon, as i look at you there on that beach in hawaii. >> reporter: the thermometer says 80 degrees but with the wind chill we're down to about 70. >> keep it to yourself. thank you so much. jonathan karl reporting in tonight. obamacare is one policy starting in this new year. there are, in fact, 40 thousand new laws taking effect across the country in 2014. here are a few others that caught our eye. in 13 states workers received an increase in the minimum wage, new wages now between $7.50 and $9.32 an hour. in oregon adults are now banned from smoking inside a car if
there are children inside. the penalty, a $250 fine for the first offense, $500 for the second. and of course colorado is now living with one of the most talked about new laws in america. it is the first state to legalize the sale of marijuana for recreational use and the change could generate $67 million a year for the state budget. but police are now on alert for possible side effects, including drivers behind the wheel and here's abc's clayton sandell. >> reporter: for colorado's groundbreaking retail pot market, lines are long, and sales brisk. >> it has been so busy. >> reporter: at this shop in denver, plenty of customers and product, smokeable, drinkable and from this bakery, edible. >> we take the marijuana plant and infuse it with butter. tastes like homemade. >> reporter: the pot boom is creating thousands of jobs and big growth. >> in the next six months, we'll be looking at increasing our production five times.
>> reporter: the state is expected to haul in sixty-seven million dollars in weed taxes a year. denver is posting pot rules as critics are ruling that for teens marijuana is more dangerous than ever. we're raising a generation of brain-drain kids in colorado. >> reporter: and police say they worry about more people driving stoned. >> marijuana impacts your judgment, it impacts your ability to react. if you're impaired by a substance, you can't drive. end of story. >> reporter: the federal government still considers marijuana illegal. but for now they're allowing colorado's experiment. but the justice department says it won't look the other way if more teens start using pot, if drug cartels become bigger players or if weed starts crossing state lines. that's one of the reasons at denver's airport only the planes can get high. getting busted means a $1,000 fine. clayton sandell, abc news, denver. and a note now about former
first lady barbara bush spending another night in a houston hospital where a family spokesman says she's feeling great and hopes to be released this weekend. doctors are monitoring a respiratory issue. her husband, the former president, tweeted today after a current and former president sent their well wishes and toll her to take care of herself. barbara thanks barack obama and bill clinton for their get well wishes and is heading their advice. doesn't happen with every president she knows. and still ahead on "world news," moving forward, same chef, nigella lawson speaks out for the first time about a tough time and a new day. we're back in just two minutes. see you then. ♪ as your life and career change, fidelity is there for your personal economy, helping you readjust your retirement plan along the way, rethink how you're invested,
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she's returning to her own life and her new year. abc's linsey davis now with what she said to close the chapter today. >> reporter: famed chef nigella lawson is tuning out all the drama of 2013, and is kicking off the new year with reality tv instead. >> think cooking for family is hard? try cooking for these guys. >> i need a paramedic. >> reporter: the new season of her show "the taste," premieres tonight on abc, and she's trying to put the fraud trial involving her two former assistants behind her. >> to be honest, to have not only your private life but distortions of your private life an display is mortifying. there are people going through an awful lot worse and to dwell on any of it would be self-pity. >> reporter: she found herself under attack forced to testify about her unhappy marriage and
dispute charges that she had a drug problem. today on "good morning america" she said she had just one goal. >> my only desire was to protect my children as much as possible which i wasn't always -- i couldn't do but that's what i wanted to do. >> reporter: lawson's assistants were acquitted and the chef said she was maliciously vilified without the right to respond. bri britain does not allow objections raised in court. >> did you feel like you were on trial? >> i did but you're not allowed any counsel if you are a witness. since then i've eaten a lot of chocolate. a very good christmas and i'm into the new year. >> reporter: after all, when you are a world famous chef, when life gives you lemons, you make lemon meringue. linsey davis, abc news, new york. still ahead right here, sharks, actual sharks, take to twitter? how scientists are using twitter to warn you that sharks are
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massive crowds and they say almost 6.6 million people have visited the vatican since he was selected last march. and that's almost three times as many as his predecessor in all of 2012. and now a new reason to join twitter tonight before you decide it's safe to go back in the water. guess who could be tweeting you a little hello? an actual shark. more than 330 of them including great whites in the waters off australia. they have been tagged with transmitters that will instantly tweet a real time alert if the shark is nearby. beach goers can now read how big the shark is and where it is. here's a tweet from today about a tiger shark lurking near one popular beach. once upon a time there was a young girl who just wanted to catch a glimpse of a prince, prince william. but he gave her something else she cannot believe.
prince william arranged a rather creative angle as he snapped a selfie for 12-year-old madison lamb. she said she was so nervous when he walked right up to her, she couldn't even push the button. still ahead right here, assume so many of us making the new year's resolution to lose weight and be fit. next, a secret, is there a song that can help you get it done? ht the modest first floor bedroom in tallinn, estonia and the southbound bus barreling down i-95. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪ what are you guys doing? having some fiber! with new phillips' fiber good gummies. they're fruity delicious! just two gummies have 4 grams of fiber!
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and finally tonight, for all of us resolving to get in shape and lose weight every new year, what if there is a secret, a song that can keep the resolution from fading away? abc's matt gutman hits the play button tonight. >> reporter: she may look mild mannered but rocking in maria diaz's ears? music, the ultimate motivator, to force you to stick to that perennial chart-topper of new year's resolutions, getting fit. >> is that metallica? >> miley cyrus. >> reporter: in fact, one study shows music can boost your athletic performance by up to 15%. >> a survey in one magazine
found acdc's back in black is the best song. and songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute apparently ignite the inner rocky in you. that means the best workout songs? blurred lines, at 120 beats, gangnam style at 132 beats per minute, but rocky's eye of the tiger? a wimpy 109. but if rocking beats aren't enough to getting working out, how about a few bucks? apps like gym pact track when you sign in at your gym and stay for at least 30 minutes. if you don't go you pay a fine, as little as $5, but you can pay up to $50. if you do go you can get your money back and more. >> that's good motivation, right? >> reporter: today the best